Neuropeptides and amphibian prey-catching behavior

James A. Carr, Cary L. Brown, Roshi Mansouri, Srividhya Venkatesan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


In mammals, a number of hypothalamic neuropeptides have been implicated in stress-induced feeding disorders. Recent studies in anurans suggest that stress-related neuropeptides may act on elemental aspects of visuomotor control to regulate feeding. Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone, potent anorexic peptides in mammals, inhibit visually-guided prey-catching in toads. Neuropeptide Y (NPY), an orexic peptide in mammals, may be an important neuromodulator in inhibitory pre-tectal-tectal pathways involved in distinguishing predator and prey. Melanocortin, NPY and CRH neurons project onto key visuomotor structures within the amphibian brain, suggesting physiological roles in the modulation of prey-catching. Thus, neuropeptides involved in feeding behavior in mammals influence the efficacy of a visual stimulus in releasing prey-catching behavior. These neuropeptides may play an important role in how frogs and toads gather and process visual information, particularly during stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-162
Number of pages12
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - B Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


  • Amphibian
  • Anti-predator
  • Corticotropin-releasing hormone
  • Feeding
  • Melanocortin
  • Melanocortin receptor
  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Optic tectum
  • Stress
  • Thalamus


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